Posts in Uncategorized
We Run, but We Can’t Hide
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We carry around secrets. Those secrets are heavy burdens for us. We don’t want anyone to know our pasts or to be defined by our worst actions. We shudder at the thought of others in our study group, PTA or bowling league being fully aware of our lives that might include violence, sexual assault, abuse, drunkenness and the other stuff we have done. We fear what might happen to us if they found out the truth about us. But God knows everything about us. We can’t hide anything from Him. This is not a scary thought for us who love Him. It is a hopeful and comforting fact. In our hearts, we wish to be completely known and open and honest with Him. We long to lose our illusions, expose our deceptions, face the facts of our lives, confront our fears, and admit our failures. We crave to be loved by someone who knows us, accepts us for who we are, and forgives us for Christ’s sake.

God’s love and forgiveness come to us through Christ when we allow God’s Word to penetrate our souls. Then we expose our hearts for the unclean things they are and uncover the sin that is in the deepest corners of our being.

To make this happen, we must confess our sin to God and turn away from it. We need to believe that God’s Word will protect and sustain us. We can strengthen our faith by beginning each day with prayer and time in God’s Word. We need to change the chilly climate of our hearts and cultivate a tender relationship with Jesus. These disciplines will sustain us when we are tempted to flinch and turn away from God’s presence.

There is no need to fear any condemnation from God when we come close and confess our sins. God loves us and died for us even before we sought Him out. That is the wonderful, comforting thing about God’s Grace.

UncategorizedJim Vogelzang
Do Not Conform—Be Transformed
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Numerous TV shows portray virtuous police officers becoming exactly like the people they’re trying to bust. This happens in real life too. We read about cops who steal the money from a drug bust and keep it for themselves. This risk of becoming like the people around us is a persistent and dangerous threat to our Christian walk. When people who scoff at God and practice sinful deeds surround us, we are tempted to become like them. It’s like swimming in a cesspool, and it’s very difficult to avoid the stink.

The apostle Paul writes about this problem in Romans 12:2. He uses the word conform to indicate the gradual process by which we take on and adopt the rules and standards of those around us. If we are not careful, we can slowly find ourselves becoming insensitive to God’s leading and His grace.

Paul gives us the formula for resisting this temptation when he instructs us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we’ve said before: How we think determines how we act. If our minds focus on negative things, we will behave in sinful ways. However, if we allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, our whole lives will be transformed.

To renew something often involves stripping off the old and replacing it with something better. As our lives have been stripped of drug addiction, guilt, and shame, we apply the finishing coat of Jesus over our new minds. Then to keep our minds fresh, we need to worship—not only individually through prayer and Bible study, but also with the prison church. This will help us keep our minds focused on the right things as we fight the pressures of everyday life and the dangers of returning to lives that dishonored Jesus.

UncategorizedJim Vogelzang
Kingly Character  
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An incident in the early life of David instructs us about how God sees people and how we should see them as well.

God was not happy with King Saul, so He told His prophet Samuel that He wanted to anoint another man to be king. God directed Samuel to travel to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse. When Samuel arrived, Jesse did what any man in his community would have done: he brought his firstborn son to Samuel. Eliab was tall, handsome, and strong. Samuel looked at Eliab and said to himself, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed” (1 Samuel 16:6). But Samuel was wrong. There is an important lesson for us in his error.

We often make the same mistake Samuel did. We are attracted to things that are superficial. We look at other women in the office  and judge them according to their looks or clothes. We honor the guys who are wealthy, powerful or great looking. The timid and unattractive are often ignored. We are blind to the things that God sees. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his famous speech, I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Dr. King was talking about “kingly character.” A kingly character looks to serve others, not to use them.

As we live our daily lives, let’s not make the blunder Samuel did. Let’s evaluate men and women based on what is in their hearts, not on their looks or manners or popularity. Let’s avoid the trap that sees only people’s external qualities. Let’s look at the eternal qualities and see value where none was visible before.

Worship Unites Us

To many people, the suggestion that worship and religion unite us is absurd. They point out that millions have been killed in the name of God through religious wars, the Crusades, and the Inquisition. They argue that religion has been a great source of division and suffering in the world—and in some ways they are correct.

Religion focusing on “do’s and don’ts” kills the spirit. It is a set of rules and regulations that people use to show God that they are acceptable to Him. By keeping a set of rules and regulations, they mistakenly feel they have done something good—and God is obligated to accept them. They count on their performance to earn God’s love. Jesus had harsh words for rule-keepers—people like the Pharisees—because they missed the Gospel message: God loves and accepts us, even though we are sinners who offend Him. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin. While we were still sinners, Jesus came to die for us (see Romans 5:8). When we fully understand this undeserved gift, we respond by doing good things and avoiding sinful acts. Religion tied to regulations leads to arrogant self-righteousness.

However, a relationship with Jesus leads to a life of service to others in love.

When we worship together, knowing that our sin has been covered, our worship unites us. It deepens our sense of brotherhood and sisterhood by pointing out our common needs. True worship reminds us that we are all sinners, making it difficult to point a finger of accusation at someone else. The fruit of the Spirit grows in each one of us, resulting in unity and loving attitudes.

Jesus came to abolish religion and replace it with a relationship with Him. We cannot earn His love; He gives it to us for free.

The Power of Music

Music contains great power both to soothe us when we’re anxious and to stir up our emotions. Dentists’ offices play soft music. NBA pre-game music is loud and piercing. Advertising companies work overtime creating catchy jingles to remind us of their products.

Music plays an important role in our walk with God too. It can either help us combat evil, or it can lead us into evil. Like a rudder on a boat, music can set our frame of mind and steer our attitudes and actions toward something good or evil.

Music that degrades male or female dignity and glorifies drug use will poison our minds. Music and words create images in our brains. We visualize shameful stuff in our heads. And what we think is what we do. Bad stuff—wrong direction!

The opposite is also true. Rising from our beds with the words to “Awesome God” running through our heads makes it easier to sidestep the devil’s assault in the office. Quietly singing “Amazing Grace” as we walk to lunch with a friend focuses us on God’s gift instead of our worries. Martin Luther, who wrote “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” felt music was not our invention but rather a gift from God. He taught that the devil hates it because music drives evil out of us. Luther was right.

We must be extra careful about the music that goes into our ears and into our brains. We don’t eat garbage, so why feed it into our heads through our ears? When we put wholesome spiritual food into our bodies, we can expect good spiritual health as a result. We need to discover the power of music and its effects for good or evil in our lives. After we start the day in prayer and in God’s Word, let’s add His music to our souls.

Obey…Don’t Delay?

 

Someone said, “The real disasters in life happen when we get what we want.” We can relate to that. Some of you women readers wanted a man in your lives so badly you would have done most anything. Then, you got one, he verbally abused you, ignored you and treated you with contempt, all the while expecting you to cook, clean and sleep with them! You soon discovered you were better off without him.

Although that statement is true in some human circumstances, it’s not true in our relationship to God. Sometimes the problem is that when God speaks to us, He says things we don’t want to hear. Our idea of what we want God to say is different from what He says. We pray that “Thy Will be done,” but really would like to know what God’s Will is BEFORE we agree to obey and follow. This is not surrender to God but our attempt to keep control over our lives, while asking God for directions.

Our plan may be for God to give us financial security so we can mentor young men and women to help them avoid the mistakes that could send them to prison. A worthy and noble aspiration! But what is our reaction when God speaks to us and we hear Him plainly command us to minister to the homeless community that resides in a tent city a block from our house? Whoa! We immediately think, God must be mistaken. We turn it over in our minds, looking for a sign that we didn’t hear correctly. This is wrong!

Oswald Chambers writes in his book “My Utmost for His Highest” about trying to rationalize that we didn’t hear God correctly. “When I have to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate come in, I am bringing in an element that is not of God, and I come to the conclusion that the suggestion was not a right one.” Our unwillingness to pay attention to what God says may very well lead to disobedience that disappoints God. But obedience leads to a richer and fuller faith. When we hear God’s voice, we must move on it and begin to obey. Let God’s hand be played out on His card table. When it’s over, we may be privileged to witness the results of His work through our efforts. If so, we’ll finally see that He was correct.

In closing, ask yourself, what attitudes lead you to discard your ideas of what you think God has planned for your life and really hear and accept His leading

Out with the Old Life

Going to a funeral isn’t high on any of our lists. Funerals mean we’ve lost someone we know or love. We experience pain and sorrow, along with tears and crying. Not a very good time, usually.

Yet for us to get right with God, we’ve all got to attend what Oswald Chambers would call our own “white funeral”—the burial of our old lives. We call it a white funeral because our old natures—the accepted wisdom that we’ve relied on has gotten us nowhere—must die. Most of us who know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior remember the exact time and date when we attended our own white funeral. Our needs changed from craving success, status, and material pleasures to craving a relationship with Jesus. It is as if we became captivated by God. The Holy Spirit pulled at our hearts like a magnet. We became new persons on the inside.

For those of us who do not yet have a relationship with Jesus, we need a white funeral—to be born again. We may scratch our heads, not really knowing what that means. What it means is this: When we come to that place where our hearts cry out to God and we open them to the presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ enters into our hearts. If we truly appeal to God to change our lives in a transforming way, our old natures die and our new natures are born. We gain freedom from guilt, fear, anger, and an unforgiving heart. In its place is a heart that acknowledges sin and comprehends Jesus’ amazing sacrifice on our behalf. We become newborns—new creations in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Our sinful selves die; we bury it at our “white funeral” and begin a new life in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

Fruit of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit promises to grow the Fruit of His Spirit in our lives. But what does that actually mean and how do they manifest themselves on our daily walk, at work, with our families? Lets look at the list in Galatians 5:22-23:

Love: This fruit encompasses them all. When we love because God first loved us (see 1 John 4:19), it shows that we understand grace and have accepted God’s love for us.

Joy: When we know our names are written in the Book of Life, because of His grace, we will be joyful in the way we act and conduct ourselves around other inmates.

Peace: When we have “made peace with God,” we will cease to be anxious. Our fruit will be a calm, untroubled spirit.

Patience: “Passive” love shows itself in a spirit of tolerance and endurance around any type of personality we meet.

Kindness: “Active” love is the most convincing evidence of God’s love for us. When we are kind, people will be attracted to the Word and to us.

Goodness: Generous and good people do the right thing, even when it hurts or pricks our pride.

Faithfulness: Integrity—doing what we say we are going to do—means we walk the talk.

Gentleness: This fruit makes the weak strong and the strong gentle.

Self-control: When we show this fruit to others, they will respect us and be convinced that we have changed.

When we bear this kind of fruit, we will live the abundant, fruitful life and lead others to it, as well!

 

 

 

Compound Interest

Famous scientist Albert Einstein was asked what he believed was his greatest discovery. He replied, “Compound interest.” Loan sharks know about compound interest and how it works. A person borrows $1,000 from a loan shark at 30% interest per week. After the first week, the person owes $1,300. Without a payment, after two weeks, the victim owes $1690. After three weeks, $2,197, and on and on.

Sin compounds too. C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. And apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.”

Every day at the office, on the road or in our neighborhood tavern, we make decisions. Swearing, bad-mouthing the boss, our wives or boyfriends are just a few bad loans we take from Satan, the ultimate loan shark. Macho trash talk sows a negative seed. That seed grows, and a plan emerges. Once the action plan is in place, it takes only a moment of madness for our world to blow up. On the other hand, when we attempt to love people as Jesus commands, we find ourselves liking them more. As we practice good feelings toward people, we find ourselves liking more people…including those we could never imagine liking.

Walk with Einstein and give Compound Interest a try!

 

 

The Escalator of Temptation

For most of us, if we had the history of our problematic behaviors printed out it would resemble “rap sheets” similar to criminals arrested many times. Many us would have long “rap sheets” that probably don’t begin to detail our entire sketchy history of activity. Our “rap sheets” most likely began with petty stuff. We stole a little beer from our parents, lifted a few bucks from Dad’s wallet, but soon found ourselves wanting and doing ever more dangerous and serious stuff. Temptation is an escalator…it moves us from minor to more difficult indiscretions. Take Rachel’s true story as an example.

Rachel was eleven when her parents split up. She was angry with her parents and angry with herself since she mistakenly blamed herself for her parents’ divorce.

The rage got worse when her mom’s new boyfriend started making sexual moves on her when she turned thirteen. It boiled over when her mother didn’t believe her when she told her about the advances. Rachel decided to run away.

Once on her own, Rachel needed food and began stealing it. Then someone offered her some weed, which took the pain away temporarily. Money was always a problem, so Rachel traded her body for food and drugs. That led to numerous arrests. After getting out, Rachel hooked up with a pimp who was also responsible for a large cook of meth. She started to use and then agreed to sell it. She was busted and sent away for eight years for distribution.

The devil is never satisfied with little temptations. His goal is to lead us up the escalator to “bigger and badder” sins. Remember: King David’s adultery with Bathsheba started with just a peek and ended up being first-degree murder.

We need to understand temptation. We need to know where it comes from, what it looks like, and how it works so that we can identify it, prepare for it, and deal with it. Temptation is ultimately a test. Will we do the right thing, or will we give in to the temptation?

When we realize that each temptation leads to greater sin, we need to stop and think. We must recognize the path that we’re on. Never be deceived into thinking temptation is a one-shot deal.

Jesus was tempted too. Jesus did not give in. He did not sin in the face of temptation. He won the battle. We serve a Savior who faced the same temptations we do every day. Jesus went into the wilderness for a showdown with Satan, the enemy of our souls—and Jesus won!

Let’s be on our guard. We can be confident of God’s strength to give us victory over temptation.

God’s Repair Shop

Some days we feel broken. Shattered. Useless. We wonder if God could ever find us useful to Him.

We need to remember that even if our lives are completely blown up, they can be repaired. God is a repairman who fixes shattered lives and makes them whole again. His tools are conviction, confession, repentance, and forgiveness of sin. These are the tools of deep, permanent, personal change in our lives.

One of the dangerous facts about sin is that the more it increases, the more our awareness of it often decreases. We become numb to our own inner rebellion. We need the touch of the Holy Spirit—or friends who are willing to be honest with us—to make us aware of our sins. Conviction is the first great tool in God’s repair shop.

Once convicted, we must confess our sins to God. When we confess them, we are agreeing with God that we are not in tune with His plan for our lives. Our confessions to Him tune the radio of our hearts to the exact frequency, bringing clear music into our souls.

When we repent, we turn away from our sinful behavior. We admit that the problem lies in us. When we repent, we give God permission to begin His repair work.

God’s forgiveness is like the finish coat of paint on an old toy. It makes it look new again. Forgiveness helps us begin to feel worthwhile again. Our spirits are made whole. We can begin to perceive ourselves as worthy because we are worthy in God’s eyes.

 

 

New Life

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become totally new persons. Our old life of bondage is gone, and a new life of freedom begins. Many of us know bondage. Some of us were (or still are) in slavery to drugs. We know fear and what it feels like to be really afraid. Many of us were abused and are now held hostage by feelings of abandonment and rejection. We still feel the pinch of the shackles of hopelessness around the wrists and ankles of our lives.

We carry around the chains of pride and self-centeredness that prevent us from asking God to unlock the manacles of hopelessness. Some of us are afraid to trust Christ because we don’t really believe He will get our lives right. We fall into the trap of thinking that a life in Christ is all about rules and regulations. It isn’t. Anything that stresses rules and regulations as a way to God may be a religion, but it’s not a relationship. It is not true Christianity. When Jesus saves us, He saves us for a life of freedom—not freedom to sin, but freedom to do the right things.

Our Savior’s keys unlock our chains. Our old lives—with their bondage and negative patterns—are gone. A process of change begins. Our old lives are like polluted fish tanks that smell up a room when the water filter is broken. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He places a new water filter in the water tanks of our lives. He drops chlorine tablets into the reservoir of our hearts. The result is pure, sweet water that promotes life and health and hope.

How Valuable are You?

A little boy found his father’s old collection of comic books in the basement. There were old Superman and Archie comic books alongside the Fantastic Four and Batman comics. All were sealed in plastic sleeves to prevent mold and dirt from destroying them. The son asked his father what these old comic books were worth. What was their value? The father replied, "They are worth what one person is willing to pay for them."

What is a person worth? What are we worth? What are you worth? Do you ever sit alone after a tough day or in the midst of a busy life and ponder the question, "What am I worth?" Most of us do from time to time. The problem is that we look for the answers in the wrong places. In secular society the answer to "value" question is wrapped up in what our jobs are, or how much money we earn or how beautiful we are. Sometimes we flash the Rolex we wear to garner value from others. Sometimes we brag about the vacation spots we have visited or the new cars we are driving. In a world driven by advertising these are the answers put forth.

Big problem is all these things never satisfy. There is always someone with a more expensive car, flashier watch and bigger house. It is a fool’s game that leaves us feeling like we are hamsters on an exercise wheel. So what is the source of true value and significance?

The answer is found at the Cross of Christ. Remember, the power of the cross is that although we were more sinful than we ever dared think…God loved us so much that He sacrificed His Son to pay the penalty for our sin. God wanted relationship with us…valued us so much…that Jesus laid down His life voluntarily so that we would be in relationship with Him forever. This ultimate gift of love cannot be equaled and is the immovable rock that stands with us when times are good…but more importantly…when times are tough. God demonstrates our value to Him and His love for us on the Cross of Calvary.

Right Spirits

Psalm 51 Sin is rarely a one-shot deal. On Wall Street they have a saying about bad news being revealed by a corporation. It is call the Cockroach Theory…because "there is always more than one.” That means that when a company announces bad news…there is almost assuredly more bad news to follow!

We are probably involved with repeated sin. Maybe our drug addiction led us down the slippery slope. Maybe our rage ate away at us and led us into sin. Maybe it was our lust or our greed. We’ve tried to change, but we can’t make it work. We become discouraged and hopeless. We begin to think that maybe we are hopeless too. Worthless. And that attitude is not what we need to get beyond the guilt and stain of our sin.

Read King David’s prayer written down in Psalm 51. It points us in the right direction. We need not only forgiveness but also cleansing. We need new hearts.

Only God can give us new hearts—clean hearts—with new attitudes and new values. Through the power of His Holy Spirit, He wants to give us spiritual heart transplants so that His desires will flow through us, directing our emotions and actions. He wants His thoughts to fill our minds.

David also knew he needed a "right spirit." He needed to have God touch his attitudes.

We need that touch too. Often our spirits are full of negativity, hate, selfishness, greed, and lust. We need God to give us spirits that are full of hope, joy, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control. We need attitudes that help us reach out to each other, help us think the best about each other, and help us trust that God will use our lives to accomplish His good purposes. We need "right spirits."

Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

Why does God allow pain and suffering?One of the most bandied about accusations against belief in the Living God goes something like this… “Why is there so much misery in the world? I cannot believe in a God who allows such suffering in the world.” Well, there is no doubt that the misery and suffering around the world is acute and growing. The number of poor, hungry, disenfranchised and the number of people in prison continues to climb every year…and that’s just in the USA? Around the world all we have to look at is Syria, ISIS and the Sudan to confirm that misery and suffering are rampant.

But, why do we always blame God for this and point and accusing finger at the Creator of the Universe? After all, didn’t God create (at least until Adam/Eve screwed it up) a perfect world? God’s perfect world had no sin and such harmony between man and beast that they were both created to eat plants…not each other? You could make the case that God intended us to all be vegetarian. If you consult Genesis 1: 29-30 you will see that was the case: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. It was only later, after the Fall and after God destroyed the world with the Flood that he permitted Noah to eat animals. Read Genesis 9:3, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

God wrote the perfect script. He penned the perfect symphony. We messed it up. Then, God sends His Son Jesus to clean up our mess…rewrite the script, so to speak… and provide a way out of our sin…pay the price for our misdeeds…and we kill Him. Seems like God has done His bit to alleviate the suffering of the world (See John 3:16).

I think the problem of suffering and misery is real. But instead of pointing a finger at God and asking Him why He’s no doing anything about it, God may want to ask us the same question. “Why is there so much suffering and misery in the world, Jim?” This could very well be the question God asks me and perhaps, some of YOU when we stand before Him. Given the resources He has entrusted to us…it would be a fair, penetrating and convicting question. What would be our answer?

Through you, God is bringing him unto Christ... and to you I am eternally grateful.

Doing HIS Time - SpanishOccasionally God allows us to glimpse the fruit of our labors for Him. This letter came unsolicited from the fiancé of an inmate in an AZ prison who found a copy of Doing His Time devotional in Spanish. We are grateful to God for allowing us to be of service by providing the Gospel to these men and women through the book. Thank you for helping us with your support so that we can continue to offer this devotional free of charge to chaplains, prison ministries and inmates around the world.

Jim, I am so very grateful for your ministry! My fiancé is in prison and is reading your book "Cumpliendo SU Tiempo", along with the Bible. Thank you so very much! If you are able to send me your book, in English, and in Spanish too if possible so that I may read and discuss it that way and that would be wonderful! If only one is able to be provided please send me the English version. Oscar is in the Gila Unit of the ASPC in Douglas Arizona. I moved to be near him about one year ago. Through you God is bringing him unto Christ....and to you I am eternally grateful. May God bless you for all of your loving kindness. In Christ Jesus our Lord,

Lynda

If you'd like a copy of Doing HIS Time: Meditations and Prayers for Men and Women in Prison. (available in English, Spanish and six other languages), click here to send us a request.

UncategorizedJim Vogelzang
A Helping Hand This Holiday Season

Tim CallisHere is a little look behind the walls this Holiday Season…The Holidays are a joyful time for many of us, but a desperately depressing time for those in prison. More than 90% of all inmates NEVER get a letter or a visit while they are in prison. Over 90%... This is my friend Timothy Callis, who, since the age of 12, has spent all but two of his 55 years either in juvenile lockup or state prison. Tim committed a heinous crime when he was seventeen and was sentence to 25-life in Colorado. While in prison, he became of follower of Jesus and that one decision changed his life.

Last month, Tim went before the Parole Board for the seventh time. His parole plan resembled a Harvard term paper. Our ministry committed to hire him. He has skills as a barber, forklift operator and injection-molding operator that make him an ideal candidate for long-term success on the outside. The parole board denied him access to go to Community Corrections. In essence, they decided that it is in the best interests of the safety of the people of Colorado to spend another $60,750 for the next two years to keep Tim locked up, rather than partially release him into our care, and let him become a contributing member of society.

I am not here to argue the merits of the Parole Board’s decision, rather, I want to give you a glimpse into someone that you will probably never meet and to give you an opportunity to really live out Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, where He said, “I was in prison and you visited me.” Drop Tim Callis a post card, a Christmas card or letter with the simple message, “You are not forgotten.” Or “we are praying for your disappointment. Take heart”

Timothy R. Callis #45745 Fremont Correctional Facility, Unit 7 P.O. Box 999 Canon City, CO 81215-0999

No need to include your return address, but your thoughtfulness in taking a few moments for Tim will send a beam of light into the darkness for which there can be no substitute.

Together in HIS Service

UncategorizedJim Vogelzang
$6.00 Can Make a Difference

Is there a hunger and desire for the truth of Jesus inside prison walls? Inside Journal the in-prison newspaper published and distributed by Prison Fellowship Ministries ran an ad for our prison devotional offering to send it free of charge to any inmate who requested a copy. What you see in the picture is one day's mail! Over 200 requests from women and men incarcerated in prisons from Maine to California. We are overjoyed with their response and will send each one their own copy. Would any of you like to make a difference in an inmate's Christmas this year? For only $6.00 you can send a copy of our daily devotional, Doing HIS Time, Meditations and Prayers for Men and Women in Prison to an inmate requesting a copy. For $150.00, you can send a case of 52 copies to the chaplain or volunteer coordinator at a prison. Feel free to donate online or write us at DHT, PO Box 51509, Santa Barbara, CA 93190.

Thank you in advance for "kneeling with those who've stumbled."

Doing HIS Time Devotional Requests

Together in HIS Service.

UncategorizedJim Vogelzang
Kneeling With Those Who’ve Stumbled

Last week I had the privilege of being in the DHT HQ in Wheat Ridge for five days interviewing and speaking to the many Barn-A-Bus riders and 72 Hour Fund clients. There was Willy (all names have been changed) who was homeless and without good shoes. He was dirty, smelled like he could use a shower and had the ghost of desperation in his eyes. When he was shown the cloths room and understood that there was not charge, he winced and stood a little straighter. 72 Hour Fund was able to be the face and hands of Jesus with new shoes, cloths a backpack filled with hygiene items. Bus tokens and a winter coat. He refused a housing voucher, saying he preferred living rough. Priscilla, only a month out of prison, was wary as she stepped inside our offices. She was emerging from a world where no one shared anything without exacting a big price, so she was understandably skeptical. But our staff made her feel accepted and loved, without judgment. She brightened and wandered through the cloths room, looking for dressy cloths in which she might be interviewed for a new job. Her eyes filled with tears as she gazed at the racks of women’s cloths, belts, shoes, and winter coats available to her for FREE. She found an outfit that gave her confidence, as well as casual cloths and a coat to shield her from the coming winter in Colorado. We pray that she will use these to get a good job and stay out of prison.

We had a visit from Luis and Amanda who ride the Barn-A-Bus to see their son inside a prison over 200 miles away. They cried when I asked them what they would do without BAB. They simply said they could not afford the cost of a drive, and at 75 years old, did not have the stamina for such a long round trip journey. One other mother, named Miranda, broke into sobs as she described the heartache of having three of her sons in prison, one for 30 years.

We are on track to serve over 1,500 women and men through 72 Hour Fund and 2,000 riders on Barn-a-Bus in 2014. Thank you for walking along side us and these people who are the sheep Jesus refers to in Matthew 25.

Together in HIS Service,

Jim

UncategorizedJim Vogelzang